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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old December 13 2012, 04:32 PM   #1
Guest12
Lieutenant Junior Grade
 
Location: Syracuse, NY
Rewatching "The High Ground"

I've been re-watching TNG on Netflix lately and I'm currently in S3. I never thought about this before but, when I re-watched "The High Ground," at the end where Riker says to the Rutian police chief (?) "You didn't have to kill him," (re: Finn), am I the only one who thought: "What? You disintegrated that girl from The Vengeance Factor just a few episodes ago!"

I realize maybe this reinforces the kind of "Federation up on its high horse" message of the episode, and maybe Riker even regretted killing the girl (Yuta) from "The Vengeance Factor," but c'mon Riker, you disintegrated her body -- get off your high horse.
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Old December 13 2012, 04:44 PM   #2
blueziggy
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Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

riker disintegrates yuta after 3 phaser blasts dont stop her. she continues to try and kill her target. why didnt he just stun her? i took it as he tried higher levels of stun and that her physiology just made her immune to stun leaving just the final option that he had to kill her.

is it the same? similar but no. killing a defenseless and hopelessly out manned enemy is wrong. killing a being that refuses to stop until they achieve their goal especially when you are unsure of their true power is justified.
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Old December 13 2012, 05:09 PM   #3
Timo
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Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

riker disintegrates yuta after 3 phaser blasts dont stop her. she continues to try and kill her target. why didnt he just stun her? i took it as he tried higher levels of stun and that her physiology just made her immune to stun leaving just the final option that he had to kill her.
Perhaps even more significant is what Riker learns of the determination of Yuta. If the successive levels of stun and the certain knowledge that she has failed and will be stopped are not sufficient for making her surrender, then she is a goner. There isn't anything left in her head that would allow her to have a life of any sort if Riker merely stops her. Mercy killings don't seem to be morally objectionable to our heroes as such, so Riker probably engages in one here.

Of course, the Federation supposedly cures all criminals with counseling sessions (and possible Tantalus chair sessions), so there really ought to be some hope for Yuta...

killing a defenseless and hopelessly out manned enemy is wrong.
Not if gunning him down is the only way to save Picard's life.

What people seem to be assuming is that the police chief had a stun mode available to her sidearm. But this is never established anywhere. To the contrary, the Rutians hope that the Federation will provide them with superweapons, Riker's own stun-capable sidearm supposedly being a prime example.

So Riker would be essentially saying "You could have aimed at his leg and merely crippled him for life!", which of course still is a silly thing to say because attempts at Wild West marksmanship would probably have led to Picard's death.

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Old December 13 2012, 09:30 PM   #4
MacLeod
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Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

It's been a while since I saw "The Vengeance Factor" but I'm fairly sure I remember the scene at the end with Yuta nad it's clearly shown that Riker is doing something to his Phaser between shots (no doubt as others have said increasing the power)
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Old December 14 2012, 08:24 AM   #5
Timo
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Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

Yup, we even see that the final setting beautifully corresponds with what the Tech Manual claims - that it takes a minimum of eight blips on the display to engage the "vaporize" setting. Riker seems to go from stun to some kind of heavy stun/mild kill before opting for the surefire kill.

Yuta could clearly have been stopped from completing her dastardly deed by simply firing at her several times with the previous, non-vaporizing setting; the intended victim could have run away and locked the door while Yuta struggled with the stunning beam. But as per the rules of Star Trek, she had already done all that was allowed of her in this world, and outlived her welcome by some margin. It's not as if Starfleet soldiers are under rules not to kill the enemy. Especially one who is by design incapable of ceasing and desisting or dropping weapons!

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Old December 15 2012, 08:28 AM   #6
Wingsley
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Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

Also keep in mind that Yuta chose an alien venue for her final attempt to kill her enemy chief. Riker intercepted her, not on a Federation vessel, not on an allied vessel, not on an alien world or other installation where the Prime Directive would come into play, but instead on a pirate vessel when no "Role of Law" applies and the Enterprise is under orders to insert itself diplomatically for security and interstellar cooperation reasons. So Riker had discretion there.
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Old December 15 2012, 11:17 AM   #7
Tiberius
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Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

Riker had no excuse for killing her. That shot previous left her struggling to stand. Shoot her a few more times like that and you'll be able to slap her in irons.

That bugs me about as much as, "Perhaps something occurred during transport."
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Old December 15 2012, 08:07 PM   #8
R. Star
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Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

Not like Riker doesn't have a track record of this. He murdered his and Pulaski's clones in Up the Long Ladder. Sure they were violated, but does that justify the murder of two sentient beings?
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Old December 15 2012, 08:43 PM   #9
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

Riker kept gradually upping the phaser, it was pretty obvious there was no setting that would have stopped her but not killed her. Maybe repeated stuns would have stopped her, but she was lunging forward at him desperately, she only had to touch him to kill him, and you can't risk the victim's life to save the life of the attacker.
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Old December 16 2012, 05:18 AM   #10
Tiberius
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Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

JirinPanthosa wrote: View Post
Riker kept gradually upping the phaser, it was pretty obvious there was no setting that would have stopped her but not killed her. Maybe repeated stuns would have stopped her, but she was lunging forward at him desperately, she only had to touch him to kill him, and you can't risk the victim's life to save the life of the attacker.
A one second burst had Yuta stumbling backwards, barely able to stand. Hit her with that for ten seconds and she'd be on the floor in agony. Better than killing her.
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Old December 16 2012, 11:40 AM   #11
Timo
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Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

I don't get this "murder is bad" stuff here. Riker is murderer by profession: Starfleet expects him to kill the enemy. Yuta is the enemy, even if a sexist asshole from the 21st century might say that she has to be left alive because of her boobs and pretty smile.

"Agony is better than death"? What sort of reasoning is that? Riker is a murderer by profession. He is not a torturer.

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Old December 16 2012, 03:29 PM   #12
R. Star
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Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

^
I'm not even sure you're watching the same show as the rest of us...
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Old December 17 2012, 02:45 AM   #13
Tiberius
Commodore
 
Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

Timo wrote: View Post
I don't get this "murder is bad" stuff here. Riker is murderer by profession: Starfleet expects him to kill the enemy. Yuta is the enemy, even if a sexist asshole from the 21st century might say that she has to be left alive because of her boobs and pretty smile.

"Agony is better than death"? What sort of reasoning is that? Riker is a murderer by profession. He is not a torturer.

Timo Saloniemi
I know you have a hobby if disagreeing with me, but seriously?

What you are saying is basically that it's better to fire a fatal gunshot because using a taser is too painful!

Oh, and I sure hope you weren't referring to me with that "sexist asshole" comment, because I certainly never said that.
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Old December 17 2012, 06:31 AM   #14
Mojochi
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Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

blueziggy wrote: View Post
killing a defenseless and hopelessly out manned enemy is wrong.
Data didn't seem to think so in The Most Toys, when he discharged his disruptor
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Old December 17 2012, 10:42 AM   #15
Timo
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Re: Rewatching "The High Ground"

What you are saying is basically that it's better to fire a fatal gunshot because using a taser is too painful!
Well, yes, if it takes one gunshot but a lifetime of constant tasering to keep the assassin from completing the crime she cannot stop committing.

It's apparently well within Starfleet regulations to fire mercy shots to execute a defeated enemy; Kirk does it in STXI and ST3, but Picard and Janeway also engage in lots of it when facing the Borg. Yuta is a pretty good match for the Borg, a gift that keeps on giving unless put down for good.

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